On 29 January, the European Commission published its Work Programme for 2020. Not only does this document present the priorities for the upcoming year, but it also sets the tone for the new European Commission, presenting, between the lines, some of the key long-term objectives . This is notably the case for the future of the European payment policy. Payments, but also closely-related topics such as online identification have become more political and notably seen as a component of the EU’s broader objective to regain its “digital sovereignty”.
The European Union has passed important legislation these past years, whose effect on the European payment market is still to be assessed. For instance, the application of the Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2) had an ambition to further open the European market to these new players in order to foster the development of new payment solutions that could match technological advancements and expectations from users. PSD2 has not revolutionized the payment landscape overnight but has opened new opportunities to various actors of the payment chain to which they can rely on. The development of Third-party Payment Service Providers opened new opportunities for merchants in accessing tailored and cost-efficient solutions. Past initiatives have also created the bases for eID in the EU, raised the question of the cost of payment, but also allowed for the development of new tools such as the SEPA Instant Credit transfer scheme.
The 2020 Work Programme includes a few important announcements that could complement these past initiative to boost the transformation of the European payment landscape and further open the market to more competition, foster the development of new services and solutions that are innovative, secure, but also cost efficient:
- White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (expected next week) and its legislative follow-up on Artificial Intelligence, including on safety, liability, fundamental rights and data, by the end of the year;
- An Action Plan on FinTech including a Strategy on an Integrated EU Payments Market, expected by the end of the year;
- A Proposal on Crypto Assets, also expected by the end of the year;
- The Revision of the eIDAS Regulation to improve its effectiveness and extend its benefits to the private sector at the end of 2020;
- And the revision of the Interchange Fee Regulation, expected for this summer.
To learn more about the Commission’s ambition for 2020, please contact Juliette Beaulaton at firstname.lastname@example.org .